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Fantasy Football News 2021

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Colts QB Carson Wentz will undergo foot surgery and is expected to be out 5-12 weeks, HC Frank Reich announced Monday. Wentz's injury reportedly dates back to high school, but a broken bone recently came loose and is causing pain. The surgery will remove that piece of bone. The timeline is wide-ranging and would have Wentz back anywhere between early September and late October. That means Wentz has an outside chance to be ready for Week 1 -- or could be out for about half the season. We'll be on the lookout for updates on his surgery and rehab. But at this point, Wentz isn't worth drafting in lineup-setting leagues and should be considered just a QB3 in best ball. His situation also adds risk to Indianapolis' skill-position players, namely RB Jonathan Taylor and WRs Michael Pittman, T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell.

Update: Reich added that he expects to have a better idea of Wentz's return date in about 2-3 weeks.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Colts QB Carson Wentz will "try to rest and rehab his foot injury over the next few days" in hopes that will be enough to get him ready for the season opener. "If it doesn't improve, the answer may be surgery," Rapoport adds. We'll see where this goes for Wentz. From this report, it seems we should know by the end of the week whether surgery is coming.

Buffalo
12:07pm EDT 7/31/21

The Colts announced Saturday that they have signed QB Brett Hundley. We expected Indy to add to the position after Carson Wentz’s foot injury. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Wentz is likely out for the preseason. Hundley has spent time as a backup in Green Bay and Arizona.

Colts RB Marlon Mack doesn't have any limitations in training camp. But he admits that he's still "trying to get the wheels right" after last September's torn Achilles. "I’d say my body and just getting my legs right,’" Mack said. “Still each day feel this and that, but just going out there and getting used to guys flowing around, getting used to practice with guys because I was with bags in the summer. Now I’m going with guys who are moving 100% and not being stationary. But it’s getting better each day, I would say that for sure. I’m getting more comfortable. I feel great." Mack is unlikely to be a fantasy factor this year without an injury to RB Jonathan Taylor. But we're curious to see just how much work he'll siphon from Taylor.

The Colts are "bracing" for QB Carson Wentz to need surgery on his foot, according to insider Michael Silver. The injury "involves a bone and a ligament" issue, Silver adds. ESPN's Adam Schefter, meanwhile, hears that Wentz's injury is "not expected to be season-ending." So, that's good. It sure sounds like fantasy drafters should be expecting Wentz to miss games to start the season. But we'll update his status when we get a more concrete timeline.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports that the "hope and belief" is that Colts QB Carson Wentz's foot injury is minor. The scans on that foot will tell the story, of course. Wentz reportedly started feeling soreness at the end of Thursday's practice and was in still pain when he showed up on Friday. We'll continue to keep you updated on the situation.

Stephen Holder of The Athletic reports that Colts QB Carson Wentz is sitting out Friday's workout with a foot injury. We'll keep an eye out for more info on that situation. In Wentz's absence, 2nd-year QB Jacob Eason will be taking 1st-team reps. We'll see if the former Day 3 pick can nail down the backup job for 2021. That could bring opportunity behind a starter with Wentz's injury history and 2020 struggles.

Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Wentz is "out indefinitely" with his foot issue. He'll undergo testing to determine the severity.

Colts TE Kylen Granson got work with the 1st-team offense in Wednesday's training-camp practice. In fact, he caught a team-high 3 passes from QB Carson Wentz. "Granson may be more involved than I initially thought," Sports Illustrated's Jake Arthur writes. "He was very much in the mix throughout practice and is the clearest choice for the Colts' athletic 'Y' tight end." It's rare for a TE to make a fantasy impact as a rookie. But Granson might be an exception. The Colts absolutely love him, HC Frank Reich's offense tends to target the TE at an above-average rate, and TEs Mo Alie-Cox and Jack Doyle aren't exactly stiff competition. Keep an eye on Granson over the next month.

Zak Keefer of The Athletic reports that the Colts say RB Marlon Mack is back to 100% health for the start of camp. That's noteworthy, given Mack missed last year with a torn Achilles' tendon. Of course, being 100% healthy does not necessarily equal being back to your original performance level. But this is a big step for the veteran back. Mack still can't hope to be more than the #3 RB on this year's Indy roster, but his return could leave Jordan Wilkins without a spot. A near full-strength Mack could also stress the workload for Jonathan Taylor.

Colts GM Chris Ballard says LB Darius Leonard has had an ankle "procedure" in early June, according to Mike Chappell of FOX59. Ballard said the team will monitor him but that there's "no reason for concern," despite conceding that the LB will miss some early practices. Leonard missed 2 games last season, but a groin injury was the culprit. We'll keep an eye out for anything further on this situation. For now, though, we'll take Ballard at his word and not adjust our outlook for Leonard.

Colts WR Parris Campbell has been limited to 9 games over his first 2 NFL seasons due to a plethora of injuries. But, according to The Athletic's Zak Keefer, the team still believes he'll "become a vital player in their offense." The Colts made Campbell the 59th overall pick of the 2019 draft after he caught an Ohio State-record 90 balls as a senior and then blazed a 4.31-second 40-yard dash at the Combine. Campbell has flashed in those 9 games he's played so far, catching 5+ balls 3 times and also carrying 6 times for 50 yards. "If Campbell exits camp without any setbacks, he’ll have a big role in 2021," Keefer adds. Campbell remains super cheap in drafts, with an ADP sitting outside the first 12 rounds.

The Athletic's Stephen Holder predicts that Michael Pittman will become the Colts' #1 WR this season. "If he wants to become the Colts’ go-to wide receiver, the opportunity is there," Holder writes. "And I happen to think he’s very much up to the task." Pittman didn't stuff the stat sheet as a rookie. But his development was stunted in September by a significant calf injury. He returned to play 72+% of the Colts' offensive snaps in each of the final 10 games -- and went for 90 yards in the playoff loss in Buffalo. With T.Y. Hilton past his prime and Parris Campbell's already lengthy injury history, Pittman certainly has a chance to lead this team in targets. We like him as an upside pick at his 8th- or 9th-round price tag.

Colts WR Parris Campbell said he's been cleared after last September's knee injury and is back to 100%, per The Athletic's Stephen Holder. The Week 2 sprained MCL and PCL cost Campbell the rest of the 2020 season -- after he missed 9 games with a multitude of injuries during his 2019 rookie campaign. So we just haven't seen much of this guy on an NFL field yet. Campbell does have 3 games of 5+ catches among his 9 outings, so there's certainly some sleeper appeal here. We'll see how the summer goes for him.

Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star believes 4th-round TE Kylen Granson could quickly impact the Colts offense. Beat writers can get caught up in hype at times, but Erickson's article provides some interesting quotes from Colts decision makers. "When you watch the tape, you see that he has explosive speed," HC Frank Reich said of Granson. "He has quickness, foot and body quickness. He's also dynamic with the football in his hand. That can be a great element for our offense." Assistant director of college scouting Matt Terpening added: "He's a total mismatch tight end. This kid has big-time sped, he can get down the seam. He makes really big plays. He's got excellent hands, and he's got route instincts and route feel." Granson will be worth watching through the offseason and summer. Indy has elected not to re-sign Trey Burton so far, leaving Jack Doyle (23 catches in 2020) and Mo Alie-Cox (31) atop the TE depth chart.

The Colts selected SMU TE Kylen Granson in the 4th round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Granson, a Senior Bowl participant, stands just over 6’1 and 241 pounds. A strong athlete, he played WR for 2 seasons at Rice but left the program due to a coaching change. He spent the past 2 seasons at SMU, racking up 78-1,267-14 in 23 games. Indy’s current TE depth looks thin with Mo Alie-Cox and Jack Doyle, but Granson profiles more as a part-timer/H-back.

The Colts spent a 2nd-round pick on Vanderbilt DE Dayo Odeyingbo. That makes 2 straight picks spent at the position, after Indy started its draft with Kwity Paye. Odeyingbo isn't likely to contribute this season, though, as he's coming off an Achilles' tear. That has to ding his dynasty value as well. Odeyingbo did tally 20 tackles for loss in 20 games over the past 2 years. We'll see about his recovery and IDP outlook for 2022 and beyond.

Kwity Paye has joined the Colts as the 21st overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Paye hits the NFL with loads of speed and athleticism. His 114.6 speed score ranks 89th percentile among NFL edge defenders. Paye stands a bit on the small side, though: 6’2.5 and 261 pounds. He enjoyed a nicely productive junior campaign in 2019, including 6.5 sacks and 12.5 total tackles for loss. But Paye played in only 4 games this past season. On tape, he looks like he’ll need some work developing that athleticism into NFL productivity as a pass rusher.

WR T.Y. Hilton has agreed to a 1-year deal with the Colts. His agency reports that it's a $10 million pact, with $8 million of that guaranteed. That's similar to what JuJu Smith-Schuster got to return to Pittsburgh. Hilton's yards per catch and per target rebounded last year vs. 2019, with the QB upgrade from Jacoby Brissett to Philip Rivers. But he doesn't look like the same big-play threat he was earlier in his career. Staying with the Colts gives Hilton a chance to continue leading the team in targets, but healthier seasons from young wideouts Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell figure to challenge Hilton's share. The veteran looks fine as a fantasy option in the double-digit rounds of best-ball drafts.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the Colts are retaining RB Marlon Mack on a 1-year, $2 million contract. Fantasy owners everywhere wanted Mack to be leaving in free agency, but it makes sense for Indy to keep a reserve RB they trust at low cost. Mack, of course, is coming off the Achilles' tendon tear that ended his 2020 season in Week 1. If he's all the way back, his presence will threaten the rushing workload of Jonathan Taylor and add risk to Taylor as a Round 1 fantasy pick (while Nyheim Hines challenges in targets). We'll probably have to wait until the summer to see whether Mack is back to full strength, though.

The Colts have slapped TE Mo Alie-Cox with a 2nd-round restricted free-agent tender. It's a relatively aggressive move and makes it highly unlikely that Alie-Cox signs elsewhere this offseason. The former college basketball player has taken a while to get going in the NFL but is coming off a career-best 31-394-2 line this past year. He ranked 4th in yards per route run among 43 TEs with 30+ targets. With Trey Burton a free agent, it might be just Alie-Cox and Jack Doyle vying for TE targets in Indianapolis this season.

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